The 2022-2027 Research and Innovation Strategy set a priority to Champion the Research Student, including the establishment of a new Research Student Charter.

The aim of the charter is to create a positive and constructive bilateral agreement between the University and the student to support an effective supervisory relationship from the start. The charter sets out the mutual expectations to empower the student to manage their research journey, becoming an independent researcher.

A Mutual Expectations Framework is being developed as a tool to support effective student/supervisor relationships, and to underpin the effective delivery of the charter commitments.

Cranfield Research Student Charter

Cranfield postgraduate research students are at the heart of our creativity and are central to the University being recognised globally as the UK’s Applied Research Powerhouse and as a leader of sustainable innovation.

A research degree at Cranfield University aims to empower our students to become independent thought leaders who are able not only to generate, but also to translate theoretical and practical knowledge into useful application. This is what defines and differentiates a Cranfield research degree from any other.

The productive student-supervisor(s) relationship is vital for a successful research degree programme. Each is unique, and a positive relationship can be achieved through setting out clear and mutually agreed expectations and being open to reciprocal feedback and challenge.

  • We aim to reinforce the sense of excitement, wonder, curiosity, and passion for both discovery and solution-orientated research.
  • We encourage and enable intellectual discourse and the articulation of intellectual contribution for useful application.
  • We enable delivery of research to the highest academic rigour, co-produced with industry and partners, maximising use of our unique facilities.

This charter outlines how the University can help to shape a student’s experience, and how students can engage and contribute to make the most of their research at Cranfield.

The University

To deliver a high-quality experience that develops students’ ability to deliver transformative research, the University will:

  1. Provide access to appropriate research facilities, research support and expertise.
  2. Provide students with clear and accessible information relating to their studies, including assessment, timely feedback, and training.
  3. Co-create individualised personal development plans and networking opportunities to boost employability.
  4. Be open to constructive student feedback supporting student participation in shaping the quality of their experience.

The student

To get the most out of their University experience, students will:

  1. Take a scholarly approach to their research, demonstrating integrity and rigour in all aspects of their research and knowledge exchange activity.
  2. Take responsibility for managing their own research, learning and training by actively participating in their research programme and assessment.
  3. Take a professional approach to their research degree programme, being prepared for and attending meetings and activities, meeting deadlines, openly and constructively receiving and acting on feedback provided, proactively networking with internal and external communities and partners, and aligning with core University values.
  4. Actively feedback on their experiences and participate in the co-development of programme improvements.